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Nice and easy for early electors

CARLOS ATWELL, [email protected]

Nice and easy for early electors

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It was slow and steady at the polls yesterday as police officers exercised their new right to vote early, alongside electoral officers and agents.

The Weekend Nation team visited three early polling stations – Combermere School library; the Gymnasium of the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex and the Caribbean Meteorological Institute.

Presiding officer Yolanda Holder was spotted coming out of the library, fresh from placing her X.

“I could have waited until Election Day on May 24 but I figured since this was a special day and I wouldn’t have to be conscious of the other electors, I would take the opportunity,” she said.

At the gymnasium, returning officer Michael Sealey said polling had been “steady but not heavy” as he said most police officers would be voting in St Philip and St Lucy. He said they expected more people to arrive, as voters had their own schedules.

“People have their own voting habits: some come early, others late and some come during lunch. We have seen more women than men so far, though most of the men have been police officers,” he said.

Returning officer Charles Phillips was stationed at the Met Institute. He said they had seen about half of the 120 people they had on their list nearing midday.

He also gave his thoughts on the upcoming election.

“These are the most candidates we have ever had on record, so we will have to see how the electorate turns out on the day. The high number will put a question mark in terms of accommodation, as every additional polling agent has to be accommodated. In the past, some constituencies had two candidates now there’s as many as six,” he said.

However, a returning officer, who requested anonymity, expressed some dissatisfaction over the $250 deposit cost for candidates.

“That deposit cost is not consistent with the current cost of living. Before, that money was something to lose but now it’s just a snack box, so people can pay it and sometimes not show up or come without the proper documentation of witnesses and waste everyone’s time,” he said. (CA)